Comic Review: Abbott, Issue 5

 

See the source imageIt’s been some time since I ventured into the world of Abbott, but it’s finally nice to finish of this 5 issue run.

Before I get to any of the spoilers and reviews, I just want to point out my most glowing endorsement of this comic: I really hope Boom! Studios orders more issues from the author. Saladin Ahmed and the artists, Sami Kivela, and Jason Wordie. This is one of the first comics I started getting into about a year ago, and I just couldn’t put it down. Every time I picked up an issue I was hooked. The only reason it took me so long to read this last issue was that I moved twice in 3 months and it never made it out of a box until now. But dang, I want more Abbott, and hopefully, you do too because that’s the only way more issues would be made: sales. Anyway, let’s talk about issue 5 a bit.

Set Up: If you haven’t read the other issues, don’t worry, I won’t ruin too much for you, just know that issue 4 was left on a cliffhanger and a reveal that was sorta predictable but earned at the same time. As #5 is the final issue to the arc, you’d know that there would be at least some closure.

Expectations: One of the tricky parts about this issue is that it certainly leaves the door open for more issues. It does a great job communicating that this world is larger than this story. Hopefully, we get to see more of this world, but we’ll see. The expectations well managed by the author, because not only do readers get a satisfying conclusion, we’re also given a glimpse into a larger world that is within potentially future plot arcs. It’s not easy to do–but this issue delivers both with ease.

Art: This is some of my favorite art in any comic. It has a rawness, yet is still detailed and precise. The rawness lends itself well to the 70s era, as does the atmospheric tones of color that act as backdrop. As someone who ha a comic script and is actively searching for an illustrator, this style is comic I’d want to be considered for my own work.

Conclusion: I’ve made this as spoiler-free as I can. I don’t think it gives anything away. The main thing I took away from this issue was–dang, sad it’s over. I’ll probably reread the whole 5 issue arc within the next few days, just to get the full experience. it’s that good. If you like urban fantasies set in a 70s era race-relations fraught time, this is an awesome series. And if you don’t like that, you should probably read it anyway.

Abbott #4 by Saladin Ahmed, Illustrated by Sami Kivela, Colored by Jason Wordie, Lettered by Jim Campbell, Cover by Taj Tenfold, Boom Studios

A lot happens in this issue. And maybe that’s the problem.

We pick up where we’ve left off–and things are pretty bad for Abbott. She’s hit rock bottom–or at least she thinks she has. Some things are said between Abbott and her ex-husband. Someone dies, and I didn’t see that coming–and didn’t know the character THAT well, so it didn’t feel as momentous as I think it might have.

Than Abbott gets a tip and everything just gets worse. She burns bridges and has to do everything herself. She asks for help–but maybe not in the right way.

While the art and characters are as wonderful as the previous issues, this is the first issue that didn’t feel completely natural. The main reason for this was the death, which hints at some emotional event, but the character who is killed isn’t real enough (like the other characters in this piece) to pull off the emotional impact needed.

I’ll definitely get the 5th and final issue when it comes out, but a run of 5 issues it is, perhaps, difficult to create the type of connection these characters and this world deserves.

Abbott #3 by Saladin Ahmed, Illustrated by Sami Kivela, Colored by Jason Wordie, Lettered by Jim Campbell, Cover by Taj Tenfold, Boom Studios

Like any good story, the tension heightens, the plot thickens the deeper you go. Of course, as this is #3 of 5, You can count on something drastic happening.

jan181347The Story: The progress of the story works here, but it is a little predictable. A minor character has gone missing, another black man is killed, and Abbott finds a lead that sends her to a professor who might know more about what is going on. But all of this, doesn’t lead up to what you might think. Abbott is fighting on all fronts here and the ultimate conclusion of this issue isn’t one you expect–though look back at #1 and #2, you’ll realize you should have.

The Art: Again, the artists have made something really wonderful. The break up of panels is done in an interesting way, contrasting colors typically run up against each other, and despite the lack of flashbacks and a limited character pool, I never felt like Abbott was living in a void. The scenes in which she there are more people, the artist do a great job of making the world feel populated.

Conclusion: Would I recommend this series to a friend? At a run of 5 issues, I would have recommended it after the first issue. The thing is, there hasn’t been any drop off at all in terms of my interest in this piece, and though only slated for 5 issues–I and the local comic shop owner, are crossing our fingers for a second run.